Join us
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) welcome sign

Become a member and discover where geography can take you.

Join us

The Society and the Development Geographies (DGRG) and Gender and Feminist Geographies (GFGRG) Research Groups have been working together to better signpost funder policies on care costs associated with fieldwork. This is part of a broader programme of work on the impact of care responsibilities on academic careers and work. A Gold Standard for funding has been proposed by DGRG.

While some funding bodies have agreed to cover care costs (travel, childcare/school fees, visas and living costs), this is rarely explicit within available guidance. Here we provide links to current funder policies. We welcome suggestions of additions (please email


Examples of current best practice


British Society for Geomorphology Carer Support Grant

To help carers undertake dedicated geomorphology-related academic activities (e.g. attending conferences, meetings, workshops; or conducting field-based research; or partaking in national/international internship) that they might not otherwise be able to undertake because of their care responsibilities.



Wellcome Trust

Covers costs for care for conference attendance and costs of taking dependents and partners overseas to carry out fieldwork and has clear guidelines.




The EPSRC offers a range of flexible options around career breaks, support for people with caring responsibilities, flexible working and alternative working patterns.




The costs of additional childcare, beyond that required to meet the normal contracted requirements of the job, and that are directly related to the project, may be requested as a directly incurred cost if the institutional policy is to reimburse. However, childcare costs associated with normal working patterns may not be sought.



Royal Society Early Career Fellowship schemes

Provide financial support to Research Fellows for any additional childcare costs that arise when attending conferences, collaborative research visits or invited talks directly related to their fellowship or award.




Swiss National Science Foundation Flexibility Grant

Aimed at postdocs and doctoral students who look after children and are therefore in need of more flexibility. The grant can provide funding to help cover the external childcare costs charged to the researcher and/or help finance the salary of a support person, allowing the grantee to reduce his/her work quota.



Swiss National Science Foundation Mobility grants in projects

Aimed at doctoral students who wish to improve their scientific profile by going abroad while being employed in an ongoing SNSF research project. If the applicant is to be accompanied by their immediate family, up to CHF 5,000 per additional family member may be awarded.



University of Bern 120%-Care-Grant

Funding instrument to support junior researchers with care responsibilities.



University of Lausanne Pro-Femmes grants (FBM) and “Equality” grant (FGSE)

Open to employees of the Faculty of Biology and Medicine (FBM) and CHUV to encourage female employees’ academic progress and improve the equality of opportunities within the faculty.



Swiss Federal Institute of Technology           

Two pilot projects, for support for unforeseen gaps in childcare, and counselling support to reconcile work, studies and family life.




American Association of University Women (AAUW)

Dependent childcare included as an eligible cost for some fellowships and grants.



National Science Foundation

Stipulations on use of funds for dependent care/travel costs.



Recent research articles and reports

  • Cox, R., Hope, J., Jenkins, K. & Ray, C. (2023) Care and the academy: Navigating fieldwork, funding and care responsibilities. Area, 00, 1–6. Access the article.
  • Lininger, K.B., Rowan, A.V., Livers, B., Kramer, N., Ruiz‐Villanueva, V., Sendrowski, A. and Burrough, S., 2021. Perspectives on being a field‐based geomorphologist during pregnancy and early motherhood. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms46(14), pp.2767-2772. Access the article.
  • Development Geographies Research Group. Care at the Academy [last accessed 15 August 2022)
  • Hope, J., Lemanski, C., Bastia, T., Moeller, N., Meth, P. and Williams, G., 2020. Childcare and academia: an intervention. International Development Planning Review. 42, (4), 391–405. Access the article.
  • Jenkins, K., 2020. Academic motherhood and fieldwork: Juggling time, emotions, and competing demands. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers45(3), pp.693-704. Access the article.


Featured image: Dan Roizer/Unsplash